E-bikes are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.
E-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.
Maine designates three classes of e-bikes:
Class 1: : Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
A Class 3 electric bicycle may not be operated on a bike path unless it is within a highway or roadway, or Class 3 operation is allowed by the local authority.
Helmets are required for riders or passengers under 16 years of age. A person under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 2 or Class 3 e-bike unless it is designed to accommodate passengers.
Municipalities, local authority or governing body of a public agency that has jurisdiction can restrict where e-bikes are allowed. When in doubt, check for local rules and regulations.
On federal, state, county and local trails, e-mountain bike (eMTB) access varies significantly.
Generally, any natural surface trail that is designated as open to both motorized and non-motorized uses is also open to eMTBs.
eMTBs may not be allowed on trails managed for non-motorized activities.
Do not ride your eMTB in areas where the local rules are unclear. Ride legally and only on authorized trails to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users.
When in doubt, ask your local land manager about access to specific trails. Local land rules change frequently.
MAINE'S E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: The Maine Department of Conservation and Recreation does not have a law or policy specifically addressing e-bikes. In general, though, e-bikes are defined as motorized vehicles. If an eMTB rider wants to ride on trails, the vehicle must be registered as an ATV. Contact the department for the most up to date information.
» FEDERAL: There is little federal land managed for recreation in Maine. However, the majority of public lands managed for recreation in Maine are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, as of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access. The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests. Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order. Contact the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Regional Office for more information